The Rocky Mountain State boasts several master's-level business programs in both public and private schools, and these continue to grow in popularity, especially among online learners. According to the 2017 Distance Education State Almanac, the percentage of Colorado students who participate in distance learning exceeds the national average.

Colorado launched an online education initiative in 2017 that was designed to make web-based education more appealing to learners. The initiative seeks to make degrees more affordable and accessible. As part of the program, Colorado's Board of Regents, which governs the state's public university system, endorsed plans to invest $20 million in online educational infrastructure. The rankings below provide an idea of which online MBA in Colorado might best fit your needs.

Online MBA Programs in Colorado

Below, is a list of the best online MBA programs in Colorado. The programs vary by length, course offerings, tuitions rate, concentrations offered, and format. When looking for an MBA program, be sure to take the time to find one that fits with your career and personal goals.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Adams State University

Location Alamosa, CO Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $15,120 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 3,404 School Type Public

Students who can’t make it to ASU’s Alamosa, Colorado campus can still gain crucial leadership, analytical, and problem solving skills through the school's online master of business administration. The 36-credit, six-semester online MBA takes around two years to complete and offers several specialization options. Students may choose from one of five concentrations: finance, leadership, sport leadership, public administration, and health administration. The first four tracks culminate in a capstone project, while those pursuing a health administration emphasis may choose between completing a thesis or a practicum.

Prospective Colorado state online MBA candidates may apply and begin classes three times a year. Applicants must possess a 2.75 undergraduate GPA or better. Distance learners receive access to helpful resources, such as career and professional development services, support from the graduate studies office, and an online library.

ASU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Concentrations

University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

Location Denver, CO Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $29,808 % Receiving Financial Aid 36% Student Population 23,671 School Type Public

Part of the University of Colorado system, CU Denver is home to a thriving distance education division that offers 28 web-based degrees, including a 48-credit professional master of business administration. The flexible program encourages students to learn at their own pace, and most complete their degree between 16 months and five years. University of Colorado online MBA candidates can also customize their curriculum through one of five specialized academic tracks. The program does not require any residency components, although students may opt to pursue their degree in a hybrid format and take evening classes on campus.

CU Denver accepts applications on a rolling basis. The admissions committee prefers applicants with an undergraduate degree in business. Students who wish to gain a business foundation before pursuing an MBA can earn a graduate business certificate through CU Denver. Students can apply all of the courses in the six-month certificate program toward the MBA. Prospective students must hold a minimum GMAT score of 500.

CU Denver holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Concentrations

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Location Colorado Springs, CO Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $29,484 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 11,988 School Type Public

When UCCS’ online master of business administration debuted over 20 years ago, it was one of the first online business degrees to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This 45-credit online MBA includes three foundational courses, which may be waived for candidates with sufficient academic or professional business experience. These students need only complete 36 credits to graduate, and many do so in less than 18 months. The curriculum also includes 12 elective credits, which students may fulfill by choosing an area of emphasis, such as project management or healthcare administration.

Along with access to a large digital library, University of Colorado online MBA students enjoy resources and academic support services from UCCS’ Business Career Development Center. Applicants may transfer up to six credits from other AACSB-accredited graduate programs.

UCCS holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Concentrations

Colorado Christian University

Location Lakewood, CO Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $21,645 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 6,879 School Type Private

This Christian institution’s comprehensive online master of business administration presents advanced business concepts with a focus on decision-making, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Built upon core financial and management principles, the 39-credit curriculum includes four concentration options: leadership, healthcare administration, advanced accounting, or project management. CCU’s MBA also stands out among Colorado state online MBA programs for its unique certificate program. Candidates may earn a postgraduate certificate in healthcare administration, leadership, advanced accounting, or project management concurrently with their MBA. The accounting concentration prepares students to sit for the certified public accountant exam. Full-time students may complete their online MBA in as few as 18 months.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 GPA, and should have five years of professional experience. Applicants do not need to hold an undergraduate business degree to gain admission, although candidates pursuing the accounting emphasis must hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

CCU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Concentrations

Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Location Fort Collins, CO Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $39,732 % Receiving Financial Aid 45% Student Population 30,614 School Type Public

Developed to provide maximum flexibility, CSU’s 42-credit online MBA features an asynchronous format and five year-round start dates. The master of business administration curriculum includes an optional data analytics specialization and the opportunity to participate in an international business trip. Most students complete the program in 21 months. MBA graduates may pursue several related postgraduate certificates in areas such as finance, marketing management, and accounting.

Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from accredited four-year institution and demonstrate a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or better. The university does not accept transfer credits. Once enrolled, students gain access to CSU's extensive student services, including career assistance and a digital library.

CSU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The university’s online MBA holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Concentrations

Regis University

Location Denver, CO Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $34,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 8,725 School Type Private

Founded by Jesuits in 1877, this Denver institution’s accelerated, web-based professional master of business administration is ideal for working professionals. Students benefit from six annual start dates, and students can complete the asynchronous, eight-week online MBA courses through part-time study. Learners may pursue an optional concentration in finance, accounting, health industry leadership, strategic management, or marketing. While the basic MBA curriculum requires 39 credits, those who select a concentration must complete 42 credits.

Newly enrolled students with a bachelor's degree in a field other than business must complete three prerequisite courses. Out-of-state and Colorado state online MBA candidates may transfer in up to 90% of the required credits. Once admitted, students can receive career preparation assistance and job search help through Regis’ Center for Career and Professional Development, explore the university’s digital library, and request online academic support.

Regis holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Concentrations

Colorado State University - Pueblo

Location Pueblo, CO Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $13,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 7,563 School Type Public

CSU - Pueblo’s 36-credit online master of business administration introduces the advanced concepts and applied skills needed to excel in managerial and leadership roles. Featuring six annual start dates, the accelerated program allows Colorado State University online MBA candidates to earn their degree in one or two years, depending on their enrollment status. Most full-time students take two classes per eight-week session.

Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree, demonstrate strong academic performance, and achieve a minimum GMAT score of 400. Applicants who do not hold a business degree may need to complete prerequisite business courses before enrolling in online MBA classes. Students may transfer up to nine credits from other accredited master's programs. All learners must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate.

CSU - Pueblo holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The online MBA holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Colorado Technical University

Location Colorado Springs, CO Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $28,080 % Receiving Financial Aid - Student Population 22,757 School Type Private

Both nationwide and in Colorado state, online MBA programs that feature certain concentrations can be hard to find. CTU’s 48-credit online master of business administration allows distance learners to focus their studies through one of 12 concentrations, including entrepreneurship, healthcare management, and global leadership. In addition to core coursework, students complete 12 elective credits in their chosen focus area and a four-credit management capstone, which consists of a business simulation project.

Courses start every eight weeks, and class sessions run for 5.5 weeks each. Applicants must hold at least a 2.0 undergraduate GPA. While candidates from all academic backgrounds may apply, those without a business degree must complete three MBA foundation courses. The program accepts transfer credits on a case-by-case basis, and students may transfer up to 75% of their required MBA credits.

CTU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


Concentrations

University of Denver

Location Denver, CO Tuition $$$$$ Tuition $77,940 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 11,614 School Type Private

While DU’s Daniels College of Business has offered accredited MBA programs since 1923, the university’s online master of business administration makes it possible for students nationwide to take the same courses, such as data analytics, management, and entrepreneurship, all with the added flexibility of both asynchronous and synchronous online courses.

The 60-credit general MBA takes most students 21 months to complete. By adding a concentration in either marketing or finance, students add two four-credit courses to the degree, bringing the total required credits to 68. Unlike other online MBA programs in Colorado, this program includes two residency requirements called collaborative immersions. One of these three-day immersions takes place on the Denver campus, while the other is held at one of several international locations.

The program offers four start dates per year and accepts applications on a rolling basis. Students with a bachelor's degree, a 3.2 GPA, and three years of work experience do not need to submit any test scores. Once admitted, students gain access to the institution's career services, which include professional development, networking, and career assistance.

DU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its MBA program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


Concentrations

Why Consider an Online MBA in Colorado?

Online education makes a lot of sense in Colorado, where most counties are classified as being either rural or frontier. Distance education allows students in remote corners of the state to take advantage of the same educational opportunities available to learners in cities like Denver and Colorado Springs. Business is one of the most popular majors in the state, and business students in Colorado can select from about a dozen online MBA options. These include top programs at both private and public universities.

Some programs -- like Colorado State University's MBA -- consistently rank among the best business master's in the nation in terms of quality and affordability.

Number of Students Enrolled in Distance Education (2015)

Undergraduate Graduate
Any Distance 90,004 24,444
Exclusively Distance 53,636 20,109
On-Campus 239,951 38,513

Source: Distance Education State Almanac, 2017: Colorado

Distance Enrollment by Institution Type (2015)

All Students Graduate Students Enrolled in Any Distance
Private for-profit 46,869 8,385
Private not-for-profit 35,401 4,691
Public 269,939 11,368

Source: Distance Education State Almanac, 2017: Colorado

MBA Concentrations for Colorado Students

Online MBA programs typically allow students to customize their programs by selecting a concentration. Focusing your studies in an area like aerospace, technology, or entrepreneurship can increase your chances of landing a job in Colorado, where those industries are booming. STEM-based occupations and the creative economy also lead in the Rocky Mountain State, according to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

  • Enterprise Technology Management: Enterprise tech is IT designed to provide solutions across an entire corporation or industry area. Students with this specialty can enter many of the high-tech fields currently expanding in Colorado.
  • Entrepreneurship: According to a 2015 report by the Kauffman Index, Colorado ranks among the top five states in the nation for startups. An entrepreneurship concentration prepares learners to get in on the ground floor of a nascent company or start their own business.
  • Marketing: A focus on marketing can help you move into many of Colorado's fast-growing industries. With management-level skills and marketing expertise you can qualify for a variety of well-paying positions.

Accreditation in Colorado

The best online MBA programs in Colorado are offered by accredited institutions. These schools meet strict academic and ethical standards set by quality control organizations known as accrediting bodies. Depending on the accrediting body assessing a school, an institution may hold regional or national accreditation. National accreditation usually applies to for-profit vocational or technical institutions, while nonprofit schools typically earn regional accreditation.

Of the two accreditation types, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious. Credits earned at nationally accredited schools are less likely to transfer than those from regionally accredited institutions. If you want to improve your career prospects by earning an online MBA, Colorado is home to many regionally accredited institutions.

Colorado Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

Colorado enjoys a robust economy, boasting one of the lowest unemployment rates and fastest job growth rates in the country, according to a 2019 report in USA Today. Colorado's economy thrives across several sectors, and many of the fastest-growing jobs in the state require a master's degree. Online MBA graduates in Colorado can pursue careers in fields like aerospace, genetic counseling, statistics, healthcare, and law.

Colorado's economy thrives across several sectors, and many of the fastest-growing jobs in the state require a master's degree.

Colorado's top industries are generally concentrated in the state's larger cities, like Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Pueblo, and Colorado Springs. These communities form an urban band stretching north to south through the center of the state. However, some thriving industries, such as agriculture, benefit from Colorado's natural resources and are spread across more rural areas.

Experts expect the job outlook for Coloradans to remain positive in the future. A study by the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder projected that the economy will continue to grow over the next few years, although at a slower, more sustainable rate.

Company Location Main Industry Number of Employees
Denver International Airport Denver Aviation, travel 35,000
University of Colorado Boulder Boulder Education 13,300
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Littleton Aerospace 10,000

Source: Career Info Net

Online MBA graduates can find jobs in many prospering industries. An array of opportunities for business-savvy individuals can be found at Denver International Airport, and an MBA with a specialty in administration could lead to a career in education affiliated with the University of Colorado Boulder. Lockheed Martin also needs management professionals and individuals with sound business judgement.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of Colorado

Studies consistently show that MBAs tend to pay for themselves in short order. A 2018 report by the Financial Times showed that a master of business administration can as much as double your salary in the current market.

The Leeds School of Business predicts that the highest growth in the state in the coming years will take place in the business and professional sectors; earning an online MBA in Colorado may qualify candidates for many of the state's best-paying jobs.

Salary for Graduate Business Majors (2015)

Major Median Annual Salary
Business Management and Administration $85,000
Business Management and Administration $81,000

Source: Center on Education and the Workforce

Careers for MBA Grads in Colorado

Management Analysts

Often referred to as management consultants, these professionals help corporations make high-level decisions and solve problems. These workers offer advice and counsel to executives, particularly in Colorado's fastest-growing markets. Job duties include analyzing financial data, recommending new systems, and suggesting organizational changes.

Median annual salary: $83,610.


Marketing Managers

Marketing managers plan publicity and brand strategy for corporations. They create budgets, work with department heads, and oversee advertising campaigns. These professionals also study markets and social media, devising promotional campaigns in many industries.

Median annual salary: $134,290.


Computer and IT Systems Managers

IT system managers oversee the use of technology and software in an organization. They design, plan, and maintain systems and networks to maximize effectiveness. They run the tech at Colorado's high-tech companies and in other types of organizations, as well.

Median annual salary: $142,530.


Financial Managers

Virtually all companies require the skills of a financial manager at some point. These fiscally savvy individuals use their expertise to improve an organization's finances. They study the corporation's business model, look at its portfolio, and make recommendations to upper-level management. They also create strategies to maximize profits and minimize losses.

Median annual salary: $127,990.


Human Resource Managers

HR managers run the personnel end of things at most companies. They do the hiring and firing, set up training and recruitment strategies, solve personnel problems, and administer benefits. HR managers serve as intermediaries between staff and management in organizations of all sizes.

Median annual salary: $113,300.

How to Choose an Online MBA in Colorado

There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Colorado. These include factors discussed above like cost, accreditation, and available specializations. The following list includes some key steps to follow during the program research process for MBA options in any state.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Student outcomes include graduation rate, year-to-year retention rate, the average debt for a graduate from that school, and overall student satisfaction with their degree program. Student outcomes do not guarantee you will be satisfied with a particular program, but can be useful for pinpointing a school's strengths and weaknesses.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Virtually every accredited college or university posts tuition rates online. Additionally, you should research other college-related costs like living accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to live on-campus), administrative fees, and technology fees (for online students). You should also look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of institutional financial aid that can offset some of the costs.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    Scheduling is critical for students with other important commitments, such as childcare or full-time employment. Many online programs are asynchronous, or self-paced; students in these tracks are free to complete course requirements on their own schedule. Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require weekly online meetings with teachers and fellow students.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    A large number of online MBA programs include internship and/or capstone practicum requirements ― and in many cases, students are able to gain on-the-job training and real-world office experience. You should look into the school's business partnerships, particularly in regard to the industry you plan to enter after earning your MBA.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation status should always be available and easily accessible on a school's website. In addition to regional or national accreditation, some MBA pathways receive programmatic accreditation. Recognized programmatic accreditors for MBA programs include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Counsel for Business Education (IACBE).

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    You should contact the alumni office at each school you are considering and ask to be connected with former students. These individuals can be good sources of information about education costs, life on- and off-campus, local business tips, and other important details for aspiring MBA students.

Online MBA Programs in Surrounding States